‘Hard’ cedar limit is coming, minister says

B.C.’s forests minister says a hard limit on Haida Gwaii cedar harvesting is on its way.

At a press conference for the Future of Forestry Think Tank held in Quesnel on May 3, Minister Doug Donaldson was asked why six months after B.C.’s Chief Forester recommended it, there is still no legally-binding limit.

Donaldson said it is being put in place.

Called a cedar “partition,” the limit would prevent any logging company on Haida Gwaii from harvesting more than 38 per cent cedar. The Council of the Haida Nation has been calling for a binding limit following the 2012 finding by the Haida Gwaii Management Council that cedar was still being over-harvested on the islands.

Donaldson said his ministry is also working with the Council of the Haida Nation and local village councils to ensure that all islands forestry activities continue to follow the Haida Gwaii Land-Use Plan.

“It’s an incredible plan the Haida have had in place in terms of sustainability,” Donaldson said, adding that the province and CHN are also moving forward on concerns over BC Timber Sales.

The CHN and several islands villages objected to two BCTS sales near Nadu Road and Lawn Hill last fall largely because they are in an area expected to become part of a Haida Gwaii Community Forest.

“I think we came into a situation of government where we inherited a bunch of decisions that were made by the BC Liberals and some of them, I don’t believe, were very good decisions,” Donaldson added.

“It takes some time to turn that ship around.”

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